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Dr Archeville

House of L Vignette: Phantom

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It was a dark and very dusty tomb that Taylor Chun-Faretti found herself kneeling in the ages old dirt of. She squinted at the spidery inscription, torch held high over her head to cast it in flickering relief.

"To... enter, only the bold of... heart, I think?... shall pass." Taylor humphed and pushed the brim of her beaten fedora back from her eyes and complained to no one, "Why is always a riddle?"

"Because no one wants to write, 'to enter, have a key and turn it to the left three times'. It lacks style."

Taylor all but jumped out of her skin, dropping the torch and rolling out of the way with sharply honed reflexes only to peer around from the corner and glare at her husband, "Lord, Jack. How many times do I have to tell you not to sneak up on me like that?"

She stood up and went around to retrieve the sputtering torch, glad that the place wasn't built of wood and ignored the smirk on her husband's handsome face. Taylor collected her hat as well and smacked it against one denim clad thigh. She coughed and waved her hand through the dust that rose up to clear it from in front of her face. The familiar weight of Jack's arm settled around her shoulders as he asked, "Do we get to do it my way yet?"

Taylor smirked and ignored the pick ax that he was holding in his other hand as she headed over to the wall of pictograms. "The brave of heart, not the thick of skull, Jack. You can't just go smashing through a two thousand year old tomb!"

"It worked in the Himalayas."

Taylor's fingertips pressed against the hidden latch and the ancient mechanism to move the wall began to rumble to life... Only to cut to a commercial break. There were groans from the rug on the floor from the cousins that had had all piled in to watch the first episode of the All New Jungle Patrol. It was, after all, a family tradition.

"Mom, was there really a secret switch?"

Before Taylor could reply that yes, there was one, but the riddle had been much harder than a thirty minute episode could dive into, his dad volunteered, "You betcha, sport. And mummies."

"Cool!"

Taylor sighed and smiled reluctantly. Somehow, she had a feeling that the family tradition would keep going well after she no longer had the flexibility needed to wriggle through a tomb, "You are such a terrible influence on him. If you get him his own mallet and pick ax for Christmas, I'm not going to be pleased."

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